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by Kelsey Marsh, Angeli Gabriel, Bryan Bello

Download granito_interview_transcription.pdf

Pamela Yates

Pamela YatesPamela Yates is a co-founder of Skylight Pictures (with Peter Kinoy), a company dedicated to creating films and digital media tools that advance awareness of human rights and the quest for justice by implementing multi-year outreach campaigns designed to engage, educate and activate social change. Her latest project, “Granito: How to Nail a Dictator”, is a story of destinies joined by Guatemala’s civil war, the mass genocide of it’s people, and how a film made in the 1980’s is being used as evidence to indict the former Army General.

Yates visited the Center to talk about “Granito”; the meaning of the film, its influence on current human rights affairs in Guatemala and the priceless relationships made during filming. She also provided some valuable insight into making documentary films for social impact. Watch her interview unfold below and check out the film’s website for more information.

'Granito: How to Nail a Dictator' Synopsis

Director Pamela Yates explains the fundamentals of what “Granito” is about.

Why Documentary?

Yates discusses her reasoning behind why a documentary was the best medium to tell this story.

Advice to Filmmakers

Pamela gives aspiring filmmakers some sound words of advice and encouragement.

Finding Allies

Yates elaborates on the importance of finding friends or allies and how she did so while making “Granito”.

Meeting Characters

Pamela tells how she met the central characters of the film and how she was able to gain their trust.

Gaining Trust

Yates describes her emotional state while filming “Granito”.

Decision to Make 'When the Mountains Tremble'

Pamela answers – when/how did you make the decision to film “When the Mountains Tremble”?

Dangerous Helicopter Ride

Yates expands on what is was like filming the helicopter scene, one of the most terrifying scenes, of “When the Mountains Tremble.”

Driving Force Behind WTMT

Pamela talks about the her motivations for making “When the Mountains Tremble.”

Were You Afraid?

Yates owns up to being afraid while filming and how she ultimately overcame her fears.

Rios Mont

Yates answers – in regards to indicting Guatemala’s corrupt government of the 1980s, what impact has the film had?

More on 'Granito'

Pamela gives us an interesting view on the more subtle messages of “Granito”.

Guatemala Screening

Yates elaborates on the audience response from the film’s screening in Guatemala.

Government Issues/Support

Yates expands on the Guatemalan government’s reaction toward the film.


An educational outreach initiative is packaged along with the film. Yates discuss in greater detail the program’s mission.


Other Screenings

Yates discusses the film’s past and future screenings as well as its festival experiences.

Definition of 'Granito'

Pamela clarifies what the term “Granito” means.